Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Gifts

I've been in a funk since Christmas has come and gone. I spent so much time in down-to-the-wire mode, I'm a little confused and lost now. I pick up a project and wander off to find that thingy I needed... forget what I was looking for and then see something in another room, set down the original project to work on another... find that thingy I was looking for to begin with and wonder what in the world I did with the first project. Anyone else there? I spend all day piddling with things and never get anything done.

Now that the gifts have all been gifted, I can share the handmade goodies that I was working on pre-funk.
For Buggy and my niece and nephew, I made pillows with their name appliqued on the front and a patchwork border. Here is my little niece's (her name is considerably shorter than the other two kids so she got some flowers too):

And on the back a big pocket! For Christmas it had stocking stuffer-y things inside like stickers and candy. But I was thinking it would be good for stashing secret stuff or taking toys and games on a car trip.

And, of course, we needed more manly colors for my nephew:

Plus a super cool button for my favorite T-ball player:

And where are pics of Buggy's pillow? Let's blame it on the funk. (Yeow, I'd better go back and make sure I used an "n" in the other spots)

Here is a fun project, I know I'll be doing some more of these around Mother's Day (don't look Mom). I've never done anything like this and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was.

I took pictures of the girls with a window behind their heads. A little photo editing to bump up the contrast and make them B&W, then I printed photos of each girl on regular paper. I used a sharp craft knife to cut out their heads and used that as a pattern to cut black paper in the shape of cuteness. Double-stick tape is holding it to the parchment colored paper. Originally, the silhouettes were slightly smaller than the 5x7 frames, but I thought it needed a bit more white space to look pleasing to the eye so I shrank their heads to 4x6 size. I also wanted oval frames to give it a more vintage-y feel but didn't realize until the last minute that they are really hard to find.

And now I'd like you all to take a second look at the shape of my youngest daughter's head and send a little sympathy my way.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fleece Coat

I mentioned that I wanted to make a coat for Buggy and was planning to use fleece. To be honest, I was worried about how it was going to behave. I even felt a little nervous when it was time to put scissors to fabric. But I am happy to report that fleece is wonderful stuff. One of my sewing pet peeves is exposed unravel-y seams, so that made working with fleece especially nice. One place I did have trouble was making a decent button-hole. Its like trying to cut through leather, even with a sharp craft knife. Does anyone have any suggestions to make it easier?

So here is my little model wearing her new coat:
This is the lining she picked:

I let her choose from the section of flannel backed satin because I wanted to add an extra layer of warmth. I hope it isn't overkill combined with the fleece.

And since my model wasn't terribly willing and the first picture is a little blurry, this is what it looks like holding still:

This is Simplicity 2534, which is a girl's size. I traced the size 3 but used the length measurements of the size 5 markings. I made a muslin from an old sheet and it fit her up pretty nicely, I wanted it a bit roomy so it will fit over layers. I don't say this very often about something I've sewn, but... I'm pleased. I think we might even take this out into public without fear of someone saying "Oh, did your mom make that for you". Its not that I'm ashamed that her clothes are handmade, I just don't want it to be immediately obvious. You know?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Tale of Two Dresses-Part Two

I learned a lot about creating a bodice that fits when using a commercial pattern on the first go round. This time I did not blindly cut the size that Simplicity seems to think will fit a 12 month baby. I took my chubby little cherub's chest measurement and did some measuring of the pattern pieces. A 6 month size seemed the closest so I cut a muslin from an old sheet and slipped it on. It fit quite nicely! I think the only thing I changed was the length of the skirt. While I had the bodice on my babe I measured from the bottom to where I wanted the skirt to fall and used that measurement for the the skirt pieces.

So where is the the hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth? In the tiny sleeves! For some reason I was fixated on having tiny white ribbon on the sleeves and nothing could sway me. Not even the growing pile of discards at my feet. Once I realized my mental health cannot support sewing tiny white ribbon it came together pretty quickly. So I finally got pictures taken and I filched a copy from my on-line preview to show the dress:

Have I had enough? Oh no, I can see the end of my Christmas crafting on the horizon and I have my next sewing project in the works: a fleece coat for Buggy. I've never sewn fleece, so I'll let you know how much gnashing is involved. Plus I think I'll invest in some lovely soft yarn to make myself a scarf. Now there's a project riddled with angst, I normally just skip straight to swearing. But I'm not ready to admit my mental health cannot support knitting. Stay tuned you might learn some new words.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Have you ever wandered through the Christmas section of a store and smelled a terrific cinnamon smell? And followed your nose to a display of little mesh sacks with half a dozen scented pine cones, for which they are charging $4.99?

I love that smell, but I'm just too cheap to plunk down that kind of money. So when I saw the craft in this post, I was excited to try it. And we even had the ingredients on hand, not that there's a lot, just cinnamon and applesauce.

Last night Buggy and I made these and I got that smell I'm after:
I strung them on a ribbon to make a garland decoration but the hearts (with two holes) are the only thing that hangs facing outward when the ribbon is suspended (er, duh). I'm just too OCD to hang it up like that so I'll get another little .50 cent jar of cinnamon for another batch. I think the little guys with one hole (I can hear you snickering) will turn into ornaments to hang on the tree or tie onto a gift:

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Tale of Two Dresses-Part 1

I'm missing some chromosomes. Specifically the ones dealing with girly stuff like making a pleasing hair-do, accessorizing, and matching colors. I'm never sure if I look put together and I'm afraid this extends to dressing my little girls too. So with this in mind I decided to make a different dress for each girl from the same fabric which I pilfered from my Mom's stash. This way, I reasoned, they would be sure to match when they have their picture taken together. What could be easier? Bah!

I don't usually sew from a pattern so I foolishly bought a pattern for each girl in the size they wear when we buy off the rack. I started with Buggy's and even went down a size, because she is such a slim girl, and made a 3. The half-finished dress hung on her like a tater sack, there was so much extra fabric at the sides and the v-neck was positively indecent. I looked around for ideas and Lier fortuitously posted about slopers around the time I was freaking out. (I left a comment and she visited my blog and left me a comment, eeeeee; what a classy lady!) But that's a whole new skill set, which I intend to learn, and this project needed help NOW since I intended to have the girls photographed around the time my baby turned one ( 2 weeks ago, whoops). So I hauled out a set of sewing encyclopedias I found at a garage sale last summer and opened the Sewing for Children book.

It had several good suggestions, like not using interfacing on kids' clothes, so that step was skipped and the dress looks fine to me. They also suggested buying a pattern in the size that fits your child's chest measurement and slashing the pattern to lengthen it where necessary. So for Buggy, I need a 12 mo. size baby pattern (I swear I feed her)! Luckily, I had the pattern for my baby's dress, so I traced a bodice from that and added the details I liked from the girl's pattern, like the shaped v-neck. I used the girl's pattern as a guide for the length of the bodice and made a muslin from this:

It was a little snug across the shoulders so I slashed the armscye and moved it over about a 1/4 inch on the front and back pieces (purple arrows) and lengthened the bodice a little more (blue arrows) as Buggy is quite long waisted:

Here is the (almost) finished dress:

You can see in the pic that it really wouldn't have hurt to make the dress a little smaller in the chest. The underskirt was not part of the pattern but the pilfered material is thin so it needed an extra layer and this was my solution. I used a piece of white sheet (I should do a post on all the places I've used that sheet) to make a flared skirt and attached a strip of eyelet trim to the bottom.

Stay tuned for Part 2, the baby's dress, which I am feverishly working on now.

Have questions or want more detailed info about how I altered the commercial pattern? Leave a comment or, if you're shy about everybody seeing your question, shoot me an e-mail.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Linens

I don't do much entertaining, when I do its normally of the paper plate variety. But for this Thanksgiving I've invited family for dinner and I wanted to be able to set a festive table. According to Martha's checklist I should be ironing my linens in preparation for the holiday, but I'm sure that's just a suggestion. Why would I do that when I could stay up half the night sewing napkins and a tablecloth?

And why not take the time for photos while I'm at it so I can show all of you? First, I should say that this is a story of making do with what I had on hand. I had some flour sack dish towels that I had purchased that were NOT high quality and I do NOT suggest that you also try this with cheap-o dish towels because they were a nightmare to sew.
The first thing I did with mine was give them a bath in strong tea to knock down the bright white color so people wouldn't feel shy about wiping their greasy lips on them:

I cut the dishtowels in half and they were really a little smaller than what I had in mind. When making these I suggest that you start with fabric that you can cut enough 20-inch (at least) squares to make the desired number of napkins.
So then I cut 3 1/2 inch strips from my tablecloth fabric and cut the strips into sections the width of my napkins. One long side of each strip was pressed 1/4 inch toward the wrong-side of the fabric:

Oh, look how nicely my iron burn is healing (ick, sorry)

Then I stacked them up in this order:
-napkin (right-side up)
-trim (right-side up with the un-pressed edge lined up with short side of napkin)
-trim (wrong-side up and with the un-pressed edge at top also)
-napkin (wrong-side up)

I folded each over a little to give a sort of cut-away view:

Sew around the perimeter with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. At the corners, leave the needle in the down position and pivot the fabric to make sharp corners. Leave yourself a 3 inch hole to turn. Clip the excess fabric at corners, turn right-side out and use some sort of poker-thingy to gently push the corners out. If you lined all the pieces up right it should look like this when turned and pressed:

Topstitch around very close to the edge. Remember that pressed edge? Topstitch along the pressed edge of the trim also making sure to catch the pressed edge on the other side:

Here is my finished set. One for each adult plus a miniature for Buggy so she feels special too:
All that cutting of strips left my tablecloth a little too short (oops) so I cut some strips of dark brown fabric for a border. It ended up giving it a nicer finished edge. Yay for happy accidents. And here is the squash I was thinking of using for a centerpiece:

Hmm, you're probably right. It would be hard to have a conversation around that thing. But what, I ask you, should I do with a 50 pound squash? This is actually what I was thinking of using:

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Grown-up Cake

Today is my sweet SIL's birthday and I was flattered when her equally sweet SOP asked me to make her cake. It was fun to plan a cake for a grown-up, I hope she likes it. He (SOP) asked for a chocolate cake but I forgot to ask what kind of filling so I tried Chocolate Ganache. The leftovers were yummy so I think it will be tasty with the cake. As a member of the Church of Chocolate, I firmly believe there is no such thing as too much chocolate; lets hope they are also Believers.

I've read a few posts lately on other blogs in which people discussed "Why I blog" and it got me thinking about 'Why I blog'. Not just to trick you into thinking that I'm ever-so clever and so you must buy stuff from my Etsy shop (in the event that I ever open it), that is one reason, but I think the biggest reason is to share knowledge. I love it when I stumble across a trick or crafty goody that makes me go 'Ooooh, what an excellent idea'. So in that spirit I offer the things I learned on this cake:

I tried the flower nail method when baking the cake. That is, I put a flower nail in the center of the cake pans and poured the batter around it before putting them in the oven. This is supposed to help the inside bake at the same rate as the outer part nearest the pan edge. There was a small dome to cut off but I don't think quite as much as if I'd left them out. Probably Bake-Even strips are still the way to go.

I also learned that it is a pain in the keister to pipe chocolate ganache in a chilly house. I knew I wanted the color scheme to be white, pink and brown, but when I tried tinting the white frosting with brown gel food coloring it just looked like... well, poop (literally, even Mr. SimpleHeart saw it lurking in a bowl and said "what the *@#^ is that"). So I had the bright idea I would use the leftover ganache, but it kept hardening in the tip so that I had to hold it over simmering water for a minute to soften it enough to pipe. The first try looked so awful I put the cake in the fridge to cool the chocolate enough that I could pick it off with a toothpick. Then out came an off-set spatula and a cup of hot water so I could give the cake a shave and start over. grrr. Probably a technique best saved for milder weather.

Speaking of ganache, I didn't have cream on hand so I made it with evaporated milk. I used about 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/4 cup milk and that worked great!

This was my first try doing corelli lace and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I've tried it before on a practice board and it looked, um, wrong. Then I read somewhere that its like drawing a bunch of cursive r's and s's together and I said "ah-hah". It totally helped to envision that while I was squiggling.

I made sweet SIL an apron for her birthday. I cruised the Anthro site for ideas and made her a knock-off of a cute one I saw. I took a pic of me wearing it but... bleh. We'll have to see if she'll send us some cute shots of her wearing it so I can show you.

China Hutch Redo

How it all started:

Act I
Mr. SimpleHeart: "Would you like a china hutch?"

Me: "Yes! Wait, is it made of wood or pressboard? If its a nice wood one then yes, if its the assemble-from-a-box sort then no."

Mr. SimpleHeart: "I'll find out."

Act II

Mr. SimpleHeart: "Is it wood."

GuyatWork: "I dunno, I'll ask my wife."

GuyatWork's Wife: "It must be, its over 40 years old."

This is what I got:

The most surprising thing here is not that the hutch is most certainly NOT wood, but that my husband asked me in the first place. Anytime we are having a conversation about furniture I know he is only half listening because most of his attention is focused on the answer to this equation:

This is what I made from it:

(please pardon the photos, its November in Oregon so lighting is an issue, but I really wanted to show you)

The first thing to go was that enormous moulding sitting up there demanding to know why my appliances aren't Avocado Green or Harvest Gold. I found a piece of moulding with clean lines in the scrap pile and cut it to size for the top and bottom.

Next, several coats of cream colored paint and that was about as far as my planning went. Then Mr. SimpleHeart suggested spray painting the inside which made it an easy job, EXCEPT for taping paper over the windows. Imagine wallpapering a hobbit's house while doing the Limbo and you'll get the idea. I stood in the paint section for a looong time before settling on a champagne color with metallic flecks. When I started the project I really thought I wanted color but...

1. I was afraid the wrong colors on the hutch would limit the color of dishware I could display.

2. We're renters and our landlady has a penchant for those stick-on wallpaper borders. There is a different one in every room, no really, the cardinals from the Living Room run right smack into the apples in the Dining Room. We're used to it now but I spent the first month we lived here staring up with my mouth hanging open. So really, we have plenty of color for now.

Sooo, I stuck with pretty neutral shades. It looks a little olive-y in low light but its growing on me. Now I just need some really great hardware and I've got my lemonade.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sticker Shock Goodwill. I've been spoiled by the good deals at our local thrift store so nearly everything we looked at went right back on the shelf. I didn't find any great sheets but I did find a couple pieces of fabric worth bringing home:

the floral one is home decor weight which I like to use for making handbags. Because anyone who has been to my home knows that cream colored fabric has no business being used to actually grace the furniture. The print is quite large though, it would have to be a pretty big bag, we'll see.
At the store I thought the red-ish fabric was a baby cord but its heavy, more like a denim. There is about three yards of it (not bad for $2), plenty for a jumper since Buggy needs some warmer dresses.
It was a fun trip to the "Big City", including a stop at Joann's for some Mod Podge. What is it about that store that makes children lose their mind?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Like a herd of turtles

I'm making slow but sure progress toward opening my Etsy shop. One of the things on the to-do list is making some lovely packaging. I had two criteria: it should be reusable and lightweight (shipping is a bummer). I had that thought in the back of my mind when I saw this tutorial on making string from fabric scraps. I liked the idea but sewing them by hand and with tiny scraps didn't seem realistic (2 kids, limited attention span...). Then, when I was standing on my head in the remnant bin rummaging around like a bum, I came across this fabric:

Since it was a remnant I have to assume that other people bought the rest of the bolt. What are they doing with it? This stuff is seizure-inducing!
But I digress, here's what I did with it (and a sneak peek at a shop item):

I cut it into 1 inch strips, folded it wrong-sides together, and stitched up the middle. Then I put it through the laundry since I was after a homespun, frayed look:
I dunno, does it look homespun or like a kindergarten class project? I'm planning a thank you hang tag to tie in the bow, so it should be completely reusable when untied. Would you reuse a fabric string that is about a yard in length for wrapping up a gift or ... whatever?
(That is a skillet handle cozy if you're wondering; or if your mind is in the gutter)

Friday, October 30, 2009

new banner

Lookee, lookee what I made. If you've been here before you must be marveling at the giant leaps I've made in learning GIMP (which I heartily recommend btw). If you're new to my newly autumn-y blog, let me assure you this is a huge improvement.
I haven't learned enough that I can tell you what it was I did wrong on the last banner, but the first two words that it brought to mind were 'jacked up'.
If you are learning GIMP or have been inspired by my mediocre fabulous banner, there are some great tutorials on YouTube. I like this guy, except I developed the annoying habit of talking to myself with a British accent when I'm using GIMP.
For those who are not familiar with GIMP, its like PhotoShop except for the price. Its freee!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sad Goodbye

Today the SimpleHeart household says good-bye to a much loved friend:

Yes, a swing. And no, I haven't lost my mind; its just muddled with sentimentality-itis. This has soothed and rocked both of my babies to sleep countless times. I know it looks old and tired, but I love it. Originally, I had a battery operated swing but spent all my time counting the clicks and worrying over how many batteries we would go through. This one is wonderful, just give her crank a spin and let potential energy do its thing.
Sadly, the baby is growing fast and doesn't use it anymore so its time to pass it on. Before we let her go (the swing, not the baby!) I decided a little makeover was in order. I didn't want her to feel dowdy sitting next to all the fancy swings with buttons for lights, sounds, vibrators, etc. Her cushion was pretty faded and thin:

So I picked a fabric from the stash that I thought wasn't too gender-specific and made a new one with lots of poof for a new tiny tushie:

I laid the old cushion on the fabric and traced around its three sections, with a little extra for seam allowance (about the width of my thumb, I wasn't being scientific). I cut out these plus matching pieces of white sheet for backing. A double layer of quilt batting was sandwiched between the print fabric and backing for the poof. I had some purchased bias tape that was really too narrow for this project but, with lots of grumbling, I made it work for the edging. The top has piping instead of a ruffle, which is a nice update. I made the holes that the straps thread through like a button-hole, except huge.

A new cushion and a fresh coat of disinfectant has her looking lovely. I hope she finds a new home where they love her as much as we have. *sniff, sniff*

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good Enough

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a nice amount of lavender this summer *waves at Mom* and have been planning to make sachets. I found a pretty mauve-y linen on the bargain rack at JoAnn's and had it already cut into rectangles. I had every intention of embroidering them with a pretty little flower, all Posie gets Cozy-style, to have a few for me and a few to give as gifts.
Then this afternoon I walked into the girls' room to put away some clothes when reality, and the smell from the diaper pail, hit me.

So I grabbed my rectangles and whipped out a few hasty sachets:

First I stitched around the perimeter, leaving a little hole. Then I turned them right-side out, pressed and topstitched around the edge, still leaving the hole open. A funnel from the kitchen made quick work of filling each with a handful of lavender. Then I stuck a loop of ribbon in the hole and finished topstitching to close. If I hadn't been in such a flaming rush I would have realized how much smarter it would be to stick the ribbon between the layers before sewing so it would pop out nicely centered when I turned it (you'll notice the pic doesn't show my stitching or wonky ribbons).

Ah well, the baby is blissfully napping with the smell of flowers instead of the smell of, um...

I still plan to embroider a few, I'm thinking these would make excellent gifts for the extra people you want to give a little something (mailman/lady, teachers, etc.).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dishwasher Update

You may remember from my last post that I was planning to try using homemade dishwasher detergent for the first time and I was a little worried about what the machine would think of it. Let's say it was... unimpressed. Now I don't mean the dishes didn't get clean, they did. I'm talking about the hairy, grinding, parts-are-flying-apart-inside noises it started to make halfway thru the cycle (cripes, I hope my land-lady doesn't read this).

So I started tearing it apart. The first thing I discovered is that someone with busy hands opened the lid on one of the baskets and put a couple cake decorating tips down in the machine. So now I wonder if the noises are a plastic tip that did not fare as well as the metal or my concoction. So I tore it apart farther:

Eeeeeew! But, alas, no plastic bits. Then I started to think (not my strong suit) my homemade detergent contains baking soda. AND I followed another suggestion on the same site and filled my rinse aid reservoir with vinegar! So I did a little chemistry experiment in my sink:

Here we see a cup of hot water with a dab of my dandy detergent... about a second after I added a little vinegar:

And here it is a couple seconds later. The reaction was super short, nothing crazy.

What gives? Should I call a chemist or the Maytag man?

Update #2: I went Googling and found that other people who use it found it unsatisfactory in the cleanliness dept. but no one said it wrecked their machine. Uh-oh!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thrifty AND Cheap

If you've been following along with us you know by now I like to go to the thrift store on Tuesdays. Its 20% off day and yesterday they had 50% off all furniture, too. I think I showed admirable restraint; I did not even go to the furniture section. If I had brought home another stick of furniture I'm pretty sure it would have caused Mr. SimpleHeart's blood pressure to spike. I'm forever dragging in one thing while promising to edit another and well...

I did get a pretty linen skirt half off:

I was waffling about whether this would be a skirt for me or get added to the fabric pile. It was a size 14 so I slipped it on for size. I was thinking: 'Wow that was a little snug to pull on, maybe I should start using the chocolate chips to make cookies for the babies instead of eating them directly out of the bag.' Then I noticed the button and zipper I hadn't used. Whew. Into the pile it goes!

And since this isn't very exciting thrifty news, I'd like to share one of my money-savers. I've been making my own laundry soap for about a year and I love it. I can do a load of laundry for pennies and it really isn't that hard to make. There are a ton of recipes on TipNut and I use a modified version (hard, well water) of the powdered recipe. If you read thru the comments a lot of people have trouble with the consistency of the liquid and/or have a chemical reaction in their kitchen. So I stick with the powder with great results and it takes me about 10 minutes to make a batch that lasts a couple months.
The other day I came across a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent. I scribbled it on a scrap of paper and promptly forgot where in the heck I read it. Which was kinda important because one of the comments on that blog asked how much should be used in a load. I planned to check the response when it was posted but now I can't find my way back. I've made a batch so I'll just have to wing it. On the bright side, I'm actually looking forward to loading and running the machine. We'll see what it thinks of my concoction. If you don't hear from me for a while, call the Coast Guard, I'm adrift in the kitchen.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Girl's Dress Refashion

I found a dress in the $1 bin at my favorite consignment shop and liked it except for the fact that it was a back-less halter style. I like to dress my little girls like, well... little girls. So it came home with us but found new life as a skirt. I took pictures as I went so I could share; I was thinking this would work equally well to salvage a favorite dress that has a stain on the top.

Here is the original:

1. I cut the bodice off and measured my little victim daughter to find the length of the skirt that looked best when sitting at her natural waist. It was a bit long so I cut a couple inches off following the curve of the original waistline (the full skirt is folded in half in the pic). Here we see the dissected dress nicely laid out:

No? How 'bout this:

2. Cut a piece of coordinating fabric for the waistband. Go ahead, interrupt whatever your daughter is doing to measure her waist; she won't mind at all. Buggy's waist is about 19 inches, I needed 2 in. for ease so it can be pulled over her tushie and an inch for seam allowance. So I cut a 22 x 4(width) in. strip of white material. Sew the short sides together, right-sides facing, with 1/2 in. seam allowance to form a ring; press seam open (oops, didn't get a photo of this).

3. Sew, using a long stitch, 1/4 in. from the top of the skirt, leaving the threads long. Pull on one thread to gather the fullness of the skirt to the size of the waistband. Evenly distribute the gathering and pin, right-sides together, to the waistband:

4. Sew, with 3/8 in. seam allowance, so this stitching is just on the outside of the thread used to gather. Press the seam so the allowance is toward the waistband. Also, fold over the other long edge of the waistband 1/4 in. as shown in the photo and press:

5. Fold waistband in half, lengthwise, with wrong sides together so that the pressed edge slightly (1/8 in.) overlaps the stitching of the seam you just finished. Pin in place, but place your pins so they can be easily removed from the right-side of the material (you'll be sewing "blind"!). Like so:

6. Sew veeery carefully just along the right-side edge of the waistband so that the stitching catches the pressed edge in the back. Stop short of sewing all the way around, leaving a 3 in. opening to insert the elastic. See how the raw edges are enclosed in the waist now? Very nice:

7. Cut a piece of elastic that is equal to the waist measurement minus about 2 in. (17 in. for this example). Thread elastic thru the opening. You can just overlap the ends of the elastic and securely stitch them together to form a ring or try this method: Cut a small scrap of material the width of the elastic and sew the ends of the elastic to it. This way it lays flat and eliminates the uncomfy bump in the waist. First side:

2nd side:

8. Tuck elastic ends into the waistband and do a little test run to make sure it slips on and off easily. If all is well, finish stitching along the waistband.


I had originally planned to use the dress top to make sort of a sash/cummerbund but couldn't get it to look right. So I unpicked the little flowers on it and attached them to the waist of our skirt with some pink ribbon from the stash. With a flower left over to sew onto a hair elastic: